Highlights of 3/18 Board of Education special meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education met for a special meeting on Wednesday, March 18, at the Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.

Full video of the board meeting can be viewed here.

Emergency resolution

The Board discussed and took action on an Emergency Response Resolution regarding the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The resolution gives Superintendent Steve Joel the power to establish Pandemic District Closure Procedures.

Prior to the vote, Board of Education Legal Counsel James Gessford addressed the members.

“We believe it will continue to be necessary to react to this emerging situation and a lot of times it’s necessary to react almost immediately. That’s really the purpose of this emergency powers resolution,” Gessford said.

The Board unanimously approved the resolution. After the vote, Board members spoke about the resolution’s necessity.

Board Member Don Mayhew: “The world has changed a lot in a very short amount of time and we need to be able to give our superintendent the ability to act quickly and decisively in the best interest of our kids and our families...there will still be accountability, there will still be communication, but Dr. Joel has my full faith and confidence in being able to navigate this crisis and he needs to be able to have the ability to do that.”

Board Member Kathy Danek: “The community knows that we take this very seriously. The number one priority of this district has always been how it affects the education of our 42,000 students...for me, I think this resolution gives Dr. Joel and his staff the ability to act quickly.”

Board Member Annie Mumgaard: “From my experience in working with Dr. Joel and your entire executive team, I have seen nothing but decisions made with the highest regard for what is good for our students and what is good for our staff.”

Board Member Bob Rauner: “Two weeks ago, I think staff thought they were leaving for a much needed vacation but unfortunately didn’t get that. I know the last week or two weeks, a lot of them have been working seven days a week, nights, weekends, making really tough decisions...I thank you all for the work you’ve done.”

Board Vice President Connie Duncan: “As a school board member, I’ve never been through something like this that’s so tough and unpredictable...I just want to thank you (Dr. Joel) and your staff. It’s amazing and it’s a privilege to be behind you on everything.”

Board Member Barb Baier: “I’ve worked on this board for a very long time and this is a very fine team of elected officials here and we are led by a wonderful superintendent and he’s gathered together very competent  professionals...We’re gonna get through this by pulling together and by uniting, we’ll get through this together. I have every confidence.”

Board President Lanny Boswell: “Dr. Joel, you will have many important decisions to make in the next few weeks. As you can tell by the comments of my colleagues, the Board knows that you will make those decisions with the best interest of our students, staff and the community in mind, so thank you for the work ahead.”

Personnel hearing

The Board held a hearing to discuss, consider and take action concerning the employment contract of Justin Holbein.

Full video of the board meeting can be viewed here.

Published: March 18, 2020, Updated: March 18, 2020